Question about 1991 Saab 900

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Auto transmission not working

I have recently bought a 91 saab 900 auto convertable
Auto transmission not working, unable to get into 2nd gear, tho will do this occasionally. Was working perfectly until when climbing a hill at low speed, I pushed accelerator to floor to drop back to first gear from 2nd, which it did OK. After this it did not go from 2-3 unless I stopped, put into neutral then put into drive, and then it worked fine, for 3-4 times. Since then getting from 1-2 is problematic, even when I move gear shift into 2.

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  • 3 more comments 
  • markobrien Sep 27, 2009

    Thanks for that, Is this problem related to my dropping down a gear as explained? This service, is it a big job (ie, more than a day), or realistically am I wasting $ trying to fix it rather than hunt around for used part? Can had done 130,000 ks (100,000 miles or so) so theoretically should be fairly new tho previous owner had it garaged for periods.
    I have been driving newer automatics for a while, and have noticed on the saab that there is an increasing jolt when putting it into gear, drive or reverse. Are these transmissions more clunky than Subaru or hyundai ones?
    Also, see 'Iam thinking the valve body is not operating properly. Do a
    transmission service and while its open replace the valve body gasket
    abd ball checks'
    What do you mean by ball checks?

  • markobrien Sep 28, 2009

    Thanks for that. In a bizarre twist, just went for a drive and the transmission worked beautifully after an initially long period in 1st, no clunk, smooth, changing up at appropriate revs, no issue changing down. Like the last few days have been illusory!! Does that tell you anything?

  • markobrien Sep 28, 2009

    Thanks, and as an Aussie, I have to say thanks mate. Cause it works it cannot be structural, so reckon you are right. Will I need to go auto specialist for that, or local mechanic?

  • markobrien Nov 18, 2009

    Sorry it took me so long. had trans oil checked, clean as whistle, unknown what caused it as it has fixed itself. You must be very good mechanic as you only have to think about things and they fix themselves! Cheers and thanks again.

  • markobrien Nov 18, 2009

    No space for rating or accepting answer, cannot see it, used to be there???

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  • Master
  • 986 Answers

Iam thinking the valve body is not operating properly. Do a transmission service and while its open replace the valve body gasket abd ball checks. If this does not fix it have the bands adjusted.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

  • 2 more comments 
  • Roger Campbell
    Roger Campbell Sep 27, 2009

    the shifting being clunky/hard is a sure sign of the valve body having some issues. The valve body has ball bearings in the grooves of the body. these balls move to block and allow the flow of ATF to change gears and shift the transmission. Yes its a big job, something a person can do. None the less a big one. It may be better to just have it done. It may cost 300-600.

    I feel that would solve your shifting issues. Anymore questions feel free to ask.

    Best of luck.

  • Roger Campbell
    Roger Campbell Sep 28, 2009

    Yes do a filter and oil change on the tranny. Its gunked up.

  • Roger Campbell
    Roger Campbell Sep 28, 2009

    Just go local have the fliud and filter change. maybe its just guncked up and it will solve your problems

  • Roger Campbell
    Roger Campbell Nov 18, 2009

    Right on Iam glad it all worked out. Could you please rate and accept my answer? Have a great day and best of luck.

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